Posted: Wed 30th Nov 2022

“Unreliable bus service” leaving Summerhill residents left stranded

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 30th, 2022

Passengers, particularly those with mobility issues, in a Wrexham village feel stranded due to what they say has become an unreliable bus service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

They have reported a raft of problems with the Summerhill to Wrexham 21 and 21H ‘on the hour’ Arriva service. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

These issues include buses arriving and leaving earlier or much later than advertised or not arriving at all, drivers not always following routes as timetabled, and changes to the service being poorly communicated. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gwersyllt North Cllr Emma Holland has taken up the problems with Arriva on behalf of residents in her ward and says family members have experienced issues with it too. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The 10am service, which stops at the First Avenue bus stop was vital for Rosemary Atherton who has mobility issues, relies on a walking frame, and lives just yards away in Cedar Mews. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

But as she feels the service is currently so unreliable Rosemary and other passengers have resorted to paying for taxis to get into Wrexham city centre. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “You don’t know whether it’s going to turn up. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Lots of elderly and disabled people rely on this bus from this area. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“When we had the GHA service which was a few years ago you could set your clocks by it, but not now. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It’s a joke. I contacted Arriva myself last week, they said they would ring me back the next day and I’m still waiting. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“For years it arrived at half past, but not long ago they changed it to on the hour, but didn’t tell anyone.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rosemary added: “Now if I’m going into town, me and my friend get a taxi because you can’t rely on the bus. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Once myself and another passenger asked a driver if he was going past the doctors. He said he definitely was, but he was going the wrong way as he came out of New Road, he indicated to turn right and we all said ‘no, you go left here’, but he carried on. This kind of thing has happened more than once.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Problems with the service have been one of the most pressing issues for Cllr Holland since she was elected in May. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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She said: “My sons regularly get the 21 and 21H. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“One is at college and one is at university in Wrexham. They have to go and wait from Top Road because you can’t rely on it coming even though there’s a bus stop right outside my house on Bottom Road. You just never know if it’s going to turn up. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had phone calls from them saying ‘I’m stranded’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I’m out of breath going up Top Road and I go swimming twice a week so I can’t imagine how people with mobility issues manage getting there.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Holland added: “When the timetable changed, it happened over a weekend. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I think we got a notice through the letterbox on the Tuesday beforehand but it didn’t give any times of the new timetable, it was just to say it was changing. We weren’t given sufficient warning. We knew nothing about it.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A spokesperson for Arriva said the company is investigating the service and welcomes feedback from passengers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She said: “We are currently investigating services 21 and 21H between Wrexham and Summerhill. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We welcome all feedback regarding our services and timetables, this helps us to shape future plans for our network as well as understanding how we currently meet our customers’ needs.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By Rory Sheehan – BBC Local Democracy Reporter ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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